CUDAHY (CBSLA.com) — Accounts of what led to a fatal deputy-involved shooting in Cudahy Saturday evening differ widely.
Authorities say the suspect fought with them and tried to take one of their service revolvers. Witnesses say the suspect got out of his car, complied and had his hands in the air.
One fact is not in dispute: The suspect was shot once in the chest and killed.
Authorities Sunday continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
A statement issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says the suspect was fatally wounded at 10:02 p.m. Saturday.
Deputies responded to the 4400 block of Elizabeth Street following a report of a fight and a man seen with a gun.
Deputies patrolling the area say they then saw a car that matched a description of the vehicle the suspect may have fled in and subsequently pulled over that vehicle.
The suspect has been identified by family members as 34-year-old Rigoberto Arceo, a father of two young boys.
“We’re gonna miss him so much. He was such a wonderful man. I love him so much. His kids are gonna miss him. We’re all gonna miss him. And this could have been prevented. They did not have to shoot him. One bullet straight to the heart. That’s what it was,” Joanna Arceo, the suspect’s fiancée, said.
Family members say Arceo was inside the vehicle with his sister and was unarmed, CBS2′s Joy Benedict reports. When he exited the car, relatives allege that he had his hands up and complied with deputy orders.
That version of events was corroborated by across-the-street neighbor Adolfo Lopez who told CBS2′s Greg Mills, “One shot. In the heart. They shot him for no reason. He came out with his hands up. They shot him.”
Sgt. Rich Pena with the LA County Sheriff’s said, “He ignored commands not to approach the deputy. He was told not to come closer. At some point, they got into a physical confrontation. And he tried to take the deputy’s duty weapon.”
“We were all having a Mother’s Day gathering here yesterday and him and my sister went and when they came back, they pulled him over at gunpoint. He came out the car with his hands up. He got shot. All we heard when we went to the hospital and asked: he was shot in the heart. Straight shot. One shot at the heart and he was dead at arrival,” Afredo Arceo, the suspect’s brother, said.
Investigators say a weapon was recovered inside the vehicle. Arceo’s sister says the weapon was not his nor was it loaded and that he didn’t even know the weapon was in the vehicle.
Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.